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Mentor: A Memoir

Mentor: A Memoir has been named a "Best Nonfiction Book of 2010" by The Washington Post

"It's astonishing how much insight, passion, pain, joy, self-doubt, and sheer love Tom Grimes has managed to pack into this tightly made memoir of his relationship with the writer Frank Conroy. Mentor is a beautiful, beautiful book -- a monument both to Frank Conroy and to the writer's terrifying quest for artistic excellence." ---Tim O'Brien

"Mentor: A Memoir belongs on the shelf of every writer, every teacher, every reader." -- Jayne Anne Phillips

"Intensely personal, moving, powerful and insightful, Mentor: A Memoir is a must read for people who write and for every reader who has wondered about the mysterious alchemy that produces a writer." --- Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

"Mentor is a fine and unique achievement. It's moving as the record of a first rate writer's early career. But its uniqueness lies in its treatment of something quite ineffable, the way in which a major artist can nourish the talents and maintain the confidence of a younger one. --- Robert Stone

Starred Review in Kirkus Reviews
"Grimes delivers an eloquent portrait of the writer's life. Without wasting a word, [he] presents a view of how stories and writers, at least of a certain kind, are made."

Starred Review in Publisher's Weekly
"Employing a constant tension of ambivalence -- shame and tenderness, pride and humility -- Grimes proves in this stunningly forthright, forlorn memoir that his great subject is Conroy himself."

"Grimes’ staggering self-critique, keen tribute to Conroy as writer and mentor, and hard-won insights into the true demands of writing and the deep resonance of literature are arresting and cautionary, inspiring and affecting. — Donna Seaman

"Mentor is a touching memoir about one of those rare encounters in life, where the deep connection between two human beings transcend time and death." --Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

"Mentor is a tender, tough, and appropriately bewildered look into the heart of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—indeed, into what it means to be a writer of ambition altogether." -- Elizabeth McCracken

"Tom Grimes has written a candid meditation on the writing life. Anyone who has ever been on either side of the mentor-student relationship will catch glimpses of himself in this remarkable memoir." --- Scott Anderson, author of Triage